Tom Brady's relocation to Tampa could not have gone any better in 2020, when he literally won it all to cap his Buccaneers debut. But if the early stages of his encore are any indication, the longtime Patriots star just might be even better in 2021. Another Super Bowl title, of course, is a long way off. But two games into his second year headlining the NFC South, Brady is on a historic pace, throwing five touchdowns Sunday to give him nine total scores on the young season -- the most through two weeks since the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes threw 10 to start 2018, the same season he won MVP with 50 TDs through the air.
With that in mind, let's run through some of the most pressing questions at hand:
What is the single-season record for passing TDs?
Mahomes hit 50 in 2018, and Brady actually did the same with the Patriots back in 2007, but the record belongs to Peyton Manning, who threw an NFL-high 55 touchdowns during his 2013 MVP run with the Broncos.
Can Brady break the record?
If it wasn't obvious already ... yes! It won't necessarily be easy (he must average 3.1 TDs per game for the rest of the year). But nine TDs through two games helps, and so does the Buccaneers' pool of offensive talent. It's not like Brady is reliant on one big-play receiver, enjoying a fluke connection with a No. 1 target. He's got Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski and a slew of other reliable reserves, not to mention a steady offensive line and aggressive coaching staff. Throw in the extra game in this 18-week season, and it would be a mild shock if Brady doesn't at least sniff 50 TDs one year after throwing 40 in an occasionally uneven debut campaign.
Didn't Brady break the record before?
Why, yes, he did! Great memory you've got there. When Brady hit 50 back in 2007, he broke Manning's previous record (49), set in 2004. Before Manning's record, the high mark (48) belonged to Dan Marino for two decades.
Is Brady really in his prime at age 44?
To deny the possibility would be to dismiss reality. This isn't 2015 Manning, coasting off career accomplishments and dominant defense to ride off into the sunset. This is a quarterback who both looks and produces like he's 15-20 years younger than he actually is. In fact, that's not even fully accurate, because most guys who are 25-30 aren't doing what he's doing. Brady looked like he might be approaching a physical decline during his final run with the Patriots, but he only gained steam down the stretch with the Bucs in 2020, and he's come out of the gate in peak form this fall.
Is this all going to end with Brady winning another ring?
Who are we kidding? Probably. Stay tuned.
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